Paul Heyman Explains How AEW Is Like ECW

Paul Heyman Explains How AEW Is Like ECW

Paul Heyman has achieved a great deal in pro wrestling and is rightfully being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this weekend. And now, ahead of that, he has spoken to The Ringer about the different stages of his career and, in the process, explained how AEW is basically a modern-day version of ECW, citing Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn’s style of wrestling as an example.

“AEW is in and of itself RVD, because anyone who watches AEW can quickly conclude the AEW style is based on Rob Van Dam versus Jerry Lynn from 1998, 1999. And then you throw in all the different things that were obviously influenced by Taz, Sabu, the Sandman’s entrance, playing music while the action still goes on—let alone the fact that they continue to use the ‘lights out, lights on’ gimmick, which we debuted at the November to Remember 1995 when I brought back Sabu. The first financially viable opposition to WWE in many years employs styles that we either innovated or popularized during our run.”

Paul Heyman

It’s well-known that AEW’s head, Tony Khan, followed the Philadelphia-based indie when he was growing up. It’s even claimed that his father, Shad, was a big fan of New Jack, having taken his son to shows. Therefore, Heyman’s comparison does make sense, although considering the different budgets both promotions had, Khan has advantages that Heyman could only dream of, such as the ability to outbid WWE for talent.